25 March 2017Cruise update 2017-19
Following the sad demise of Voyages of Discovery and the sale of Swan Hellenic to new owners, we have had to make major re-arrangements to our cruise schedules for 2017 and early 2018. We are also thrilled to be booked on some truly special and spectacular voyages by both Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises, all of whose ships and cruises we very highly recommend. Our programme from 2017 to the first half of 2019 has now been fully updated, so visit our CRUISE BOOKINGS page here for details of some exceptionally exciting cruises with these two companies.
04 January 2017Voyager/Minerva cruises cancelled
We have just heard the devastating news that All Leisure Holidays, the parent company for both Voyages of Discovery and Swan Hellenic, has gone into liquidation with immediate effect. The Swan Hellenic brand has since been bought by another company, but without Minerva, which was only leased to Swan. As a result, all advertised voyages by both companies have been cancelled, and the majority of their staff have been made redundant; the rebranded Swan Hellenic will not begin cruising again until 2018. Read the full details here.
We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news; it leaves huge holes in our future cruise schedule, but that is nothing compared to the devastation it must be causing all our friends who work on Voyager, Minerva and in the ALH office. What an appalling way to start 2017 for all of them. We send them all our deepest sympathy. We loved Voyager in particular and have travelled to amazing places on board her. Voyages of Discovery was by far our favourite cruise company to work with; we were proud to be associated with the company and were looking forward to many more trips with them in future. The failure of both companies will leave a huge hole in our lives, not just in our diaries.
We have since booked been lucky enough to book some wonderful cruises with other companie to fill the gaps, but we will sadly miss lovely old Voyager (we never entirely took to Minerva).
[UPDATED 10th MARCH 2017]
31 August 2016North-west Passage postponed
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has cancelled a cruise from Anchorage, Alaska to Montreal through the North-west Passage in July 2017, on which I was booked as a Smithsonian Speaker, on meteorological advice. We are obviously disappointed at the decision, because this would have been a wonderful adventure for Sue and I, but we are sure RSCC was wise to act on the advice they had. We wait to hear whether the might rescheduling the cruise rather later in the year in 2018.
Meantime, we have been booked instead for a more leisurely passage around North America, from San Francisco to Miami, then Miami to Montreal, and will follow this with a trip to Greenland and Reykjavik. Full details are on my cruise bookings page here.
16 August 2016"Mountain Flowers" published
After three years of hard work researching, writing and sourcing photographs, Michael's book on Mountain Flowers (no.4 in the British Wildlife Collection) was published by Bloomsbury Publishing on August 16th 2016 (ISBN 978-1-4729-2982-2). Signed copies of the book are currently available from the Natural History Book Serice, and the book is also available at a discount from Amazon (see advert in the right-hand column).
If you come across any reviews of the books in more out-of-the-way publications, I would be delighted if you would email me a copy at email@example.com please.
18 May 2016Smithsonian Journeys
I am honoured to have been appointed as a speaker on 'Smithsonian Journeys' at sea. This is a prestigious tie-in between the Smithsonian Institute, based in Washington DC, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and means I am booked to be 'Smithsonian speaker' on a number of forthcoming cruises, which are detailed in full on my Cruise Bookings page.
The Smithsonian Institute also arranges its own detailed programme of overland 'Smithsonian Journey' study tours, and I am thrilled to have been booked to lead two of these tours, which I cannot recommend highly enough, visiting Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands in September and October 2017. Click on the 'Smithsonian Journeys' tab on the left to discover more about these amazing trips.